Lucky only a few housings realized Le Corbusier has been demolished. Between them we count the Maison du Tonkin in Boredaux of 1926, destroyed in 1975, the villa Church in ville D’avray of 1927 and the apartment Beistegui in Paris of 1929. Others, they have suffered the excessive intervention of his owners. A typical case is the neighborhood in Fruges of 1924, where several housings were an object of modifications to solve the needs of his owners and to adapt them to the aesthetics that each one believed suitably to separate it from the rest of the housings. The Maison Ternisien in south Bulogne Seine, Paris of 1926 also suffered modifications implemented by his owners. The villa Besnus in Vaucresson, which occupies us in this article, must add to the latter category.
The first intervention of the owners on the Villa Besnus was I replace of the flat cover for a ceiling to four waters that the volume crowns. Later, the space between the municipal line and the volume constructed Corbusier was used for the incorporation of business premises, which began with the construction of a local only one on the right side of the elevation of street, continued with the attaché of another place later of this one, and finally it was decided to occupy the totality of the front, extending the construction up to the corner, surrounding the housing, but supporting ridiculously the top railings of the slab that the semi covered on the access was forming. The final result is a disinterested construction that I annul almost completely the architectural value of the original work.
The house was entrusted Le Corbusier by George Besnus, after remaining impressed when Corbusier to visit the Stand of urbanism organized by Him for the Lounge d’Automne of 1922 and to see the model of the house Citrohän. The area located to the west of Paris, is a triangular plot that had a pronounced difference at the back of the lot, more than 2 meters on the level of the path of street. This difference is taken advantage for Him Corbusier to distribute the services of the housing in the level of street and to locate the social areas over these, a free plant that expands towards the interior of the lot for the level difference mentioned. The third level of the housing is occupied by the bedrooms.
Corbusier uses for the first time a vocabulary devoid of moldings, with windows enrasadas to the wall and vain compounds by means of regulatory tracings. The flat cover accentuates the prismatic character of the volume, that this composed by two different fronts, one on the street that combines asymmetries and symmetries and a back, absolutely symmetrical and lower than the previous one.
In the volumetric design, Him ready Corbusier singular attention to the volume of stairs, which in the first drawings was ending rounded and was leaned in continuity by the volume of the housing, but that later it displaced to give place to the access, immediately after an observation on that it comments in his complete works and is transcribed in the low part of the text. A vertical carpentry and a slab in projecting on the path of revenue accentuate the division between these bodies and mark a transverse axis that is opposed to the longitudinal organization of the housing.
In a part of Jacques Barzac’s film, Corbusier comments on respect of the work:
“In 1922 for the first time I did a house for a pair who had read my articles. They were not very rich, wanted the house in Vaucresson. They were very nice. Last week I received a letter with letter titubeante: “I am the lady Besnus, I am 94 years old, you construct for my his first house, heard speaking about you for radio, wanted to greet it”. This little house was very difficult, especially the window of the bath, which one was not harmonizing with others. It was complicated. I remember that one night we were going to the Cirque d’Hiver and at one stroke in the elevator I said: “it happened to me a little” This window was fundamental, did not have to be out of tune, I did it respecting the unit of the set”.
Le Corbusier, film by Jacques Barzac, 1985
Marcelo Gardinetti, architect
La Plata, Argentina. may 2012